Off Kilter

There are times when one's existence is thrown off balance, when the normal routine is broken, when the regular schedule is altered not by choice but by necessity. When it happens, the only option is to go with the flow, which is what I've been doing for the past several days.

Dad had valve repair surgery on his heart last Tuesday and has been recovering in the hospital since then. His progress hasn't been quite as fast as we hoped that it would be. Originally, we hoped he would be able to go home from the hospital early in the weekend, but due to some minor complications, that hasn't happened. I took vacation time this week so that I'd be able to help him out once he got out of the hospital. Hopefully that will be in the next couple of days.

I spent several hours at the hospital over each of the past few days, mostly in the late afternoon and evening. Those are ungodly hours for me, since I'm normally asleep at that time of day. I did get the chance to see some nice sunsets from Dad's room. (I see the sunrise almost every morning, but rarely see a sunset.) Last night's was especially dramatic, and I watched as the western clouds turned blood-red. Then the sky began to crackle with lightning. My original plan was to stay until around 11 p.m. when Dad was asleep. Then, shortly before 11:00, it began pouring down rain. My umbrella was in my car. I went back to reading my book and waited until the rain had ceased around midnight. When I left, it was cooler outside than I remember it being in weeks. The rain had dropped the temperature all the way down to 73 degrees, according to my car's thermometer. In a steamy Florida summer, that's what passes for refreshingly cool.